Estate agent confidence in the housing market has hit a 14-year high as demand from buyers outstrips the number of new homes coming to the market.
Around 60% of estate agents forecast prices will keep rising over the next three months – traditionally a time of year when the market slows down for Christmas.
The figure comes from the latest monthly house price report for November 2013 put together by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
RICS says estate agents have not been so buoyant about the market since September 1999.
The study goes on to explain that most estate believe house prices are picking up and every region of the country saw prices rises for the second month running.
Although not all towns and cities are feeling the full benefit of the rises, RICS believes an improving economy and the take up of government incentives to help buyers are starting to pull the market up.
This is reflected by estate agents selling more homes. The average office sold 20 properties in the quarter ending November 30, compared with an average 16 for the same time 12 months ago.
The result is three out of four estate agents expect the number of sales to increase during the next quarter.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “It’s no secret that the housing market is on the way up and prices are surging ahead in many parts of the country. The Bank of England’s recent decision to withdraw the Funding for Lending scheme – which allows banks to borrow more cheaply and pass the benefits on to mortgage applicants – could well have some impact on the number of people able to purchase a home. Although the improvement in wholesale and retail funding markets may mean the impact on mortgages is relatively limited.
“One thing we are very concerned about, however, is the lack of both new and existing homes coming on to the market. As the Chancellor pointed out last week, housebuilding is on the up, but it is not rising quickly enough to make up the shortfall that has built up in recent years. If there is not meaningful increase in new homes, the likelihood is that prices, and for that matter rents, will continue to push upwards making the cost of shelter ever more unaffordable.”